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By:Jana Aston

He appears, coming from the hallway off the front door, the one that leads to the three empty bedrooms. "What are you doing?" I ask him, nodding toward the hallway he just came from with a tilt of my head.

"Thinking," he replies, and shrugs, hands in his pockets. He looks me in the eye then and pauses. "Anything you're thinking about?"

"Um, yeah. I wanted to apologize." Shit, this is hard. "I don't know why I assumed that you left with Gina. It was really childish of me to leave and not answer your call. I'm sorry."

He nods. "Okay."


"Yes, okay. Anything else?"

"No." I shake my head.

He picks me up then and carries me to bed to rest. He lies next to me and rubs my back while I drift in and out.

* * *

There's no class on Monday. School is closed for Martin Luther King Day. The extra day off is great—I don't think I could have managed campus.

"I'm going to class today," I tell him Tuesday morning. "And you're going to work."

"Am I?" he asks, sipping a cup of coffee and leaning against the island in the kitchen.

"Yes." I take in his appearance. He is dressed for work, so he must be planning on going. "I'm sure women are ovulating and in need of your services."

"I'm sure," he responds dryly.

"You're not going to fight me about leaving the house today?"

"No, I'm going to drive you to class myself."

Huh, that was easier than I thought.

"You will stay on campus and I will pick you up at the end of the day." He pauses. "Got it?"

"Got it, big daddy."

"Cute. Are you ready to leave?"

He drops me off at the door of the Hymer building and picks me up at the campus library at the end of the day.

He opens the passenger door of an SUV and I pause, staring at the car. It's a huge Land Rover. "You bought a new car today?" I question as I slide in. He closes the door and walks around to the driver's side.

"I did."

"Is this supposed to make me feel safer than the Mercedes?"

He glances at me. "No, not particularly."

"You just decided today was the day for a new car?" I ask.

"The Mercedes wasn't very practical."

Practical? For what? "Did you save it for me?" I tease.

"Do you want to be driving a two-seater car, Sophie?" He looks like this concerns him.

"I'm joking, relax," I laugh. "My grandparents are giving me their old Honda for graduation. I won't be able to afford an apartment and a car payment."

"Right." He pauses as he turns the car on. "Right."

We drive to Rittenhouse Square in silence and Luke leads me straight into the kitchen when we arrive. "Mrs. Gieger left us dinner," he says, pulling open the warming drawers under the island countertop. "Sit," he tells me and slides a plate of lasagna in front of me.

I slump into one of the chairs at the island. "I'm exhausted," I admit.

"It'll pass," Luke says. He doesn't sit, instead leaning against the opposite counter with his plate, watching me.

Is he just going to watch me eat? He's been so weird the last few days.

His phone rings and he answers it as I finish eating. It's a work call and he heads into his den to finish it as I place my plate in the dishwasher and head to his bedroom to grab my cell phone charger. I think I left it plugged in next to the bed. I grab it and turn around to take it to the television room but I stop short as I pass the empty closet closest to the bedroom door, because it's no longer empty.

There are two walk-in closets in this room. An empty one near the door and a second across from the bathroom filled with Luke's things. But now the empty one is filled with my things. I walk inside and look around. It's the entire contents of my dorm room. It doesn't even fill the closet, that's how little I own. But it's all here. My textbooks are stacked neatly on a shelf probably meant for sweaters. My meager wardrobe is hanging on wooden hangers, my shoes neatly lined up in a row underneath. My cosmetics and shower caddy are on another shelf.

Has he… moved me in with him? What the ever-loving hell? Who does that? Someone took all my stuff and moved it into Luke's house without my consent. What did he say the other day? I'll send for your things? Was that asking me to move in? I'm so stunned I don't know what to do next. I exit the bedroom and walk down the hall to his office and stop just inside the doorway and stare at him. He's off the phone now, typing on his laptop. He pauses when I don't say anything.

"Yes?" he prods.

"Do I live here now?" I ask him, radiating attitude. "Do I get a key too? Or will you be driving me to school and picking me up every day like a child?" Jesus, transportation. How does he expect me to get to and from school every day? "Wait, are you really thinking you're going to drive me to school?"